The place that once was a home for Perak Man, the 11,000 years old skeletal remain, shines again with the visit from 84 dental enthusiast volunteers. The dream team that was made up from comprehensive dental specialists, academicians, supporting staffs and dental students were among the volunteers hailed from Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Malaysia with strong mission to promote oral health care. The event was a two-day program targeting approximately ninety local residents from Temiar and Lanoh aboriginal tribes with all aim to provide dental check-ups, dental treatments, oral cancer screening and information sharing on dental hygiene among the locals.
Program Gigi Sihat–Lenggong Smile was collaboratively organised by the Faculty of Dentistry UiTM with the Association for Wives and Female Staff of PETRONAS (PETRONITA) as main sponsor as well as International College of Dentist (ICD) as co-sponsor. The student volunteers were from the Dental Student Association of UiTM (DENSA).
“Through this event, we aim to bridge the gap of oral healthcare to the underprivileged group, develop population data based on craniofacial pattern of the target group and strengthen the collaboration linkages with partners, industries and communities” explained the project manager, Dr. Ilham Wan Mokhtar.
Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Abu Hassan, the founding dean of Faculty of Dentistry UiTM delivered several tokens donated by various bodies and individuals that consisted school supplies and dry food stocks to all seventeen families of the tribes all in the spirit of giving and sharing.
The program had given the student invaluable experience in providing dental treatment to the target group in an uncommon environment of dental setting. There was also cultural exchange between the tribe members and volunteers in the forms of survival skills, daily life activities and dietary.
The villagers led by the leader, Rama bin Busu conveyed their gratefulness of having the team coming to their village to provide them with dental treatments.